Alex Conover - Northstar Hoops

Gopher Basketball Open Period Preview: Week 1

Tomorrow marks day one of the July open period and as we have for over a dozen years GI will keep you informed from start to finish. First thing on the list? The open period week one preview as Gopher coaches focus on games in the Carolinas.

Tomorrow marks day one of the July open period and as we have for over a dozen years GI will keep you informed from start to finish.  First thing on the list?  The open period week one preview as Gopher coaches focus on games in the Carolinas.

Here is our list of top ten targets to watch in the open period, where they will be, who will be watching them, and why they are important.

#1

http://www.scout.com/player/198967-mckinley-wright/recruiting?year=2016&...

Year: 2017

Team: D1 Minnesota

Location/Event: Spartanburg, South Carolina at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale

Coach:  You can bet that Richard Pitino and Ben Johnson will either be at his games together or one of them will likely be at every game.

The Chatter:  Why do we put him number one?  Because he plays with two other key targets (Jericho Sims at D1 Minnesota and Theo John and Champlin Park High School).  Getting McKinley will greatly help with other recruits because players love competing with him and he is a perfect fit for the system who could start as quickly as his sophomore year.

Competition:  The top competition seems to be Dayton right now who just had Wright on campus.  After that Iowa State, Xavier, and Texas have been teams calling although they also are after other targets just as hard if not harder. 

#2

http://www.scout.com/player/203581-jericho-sims/recruiting?year=2016&s=176

Year: 2017

Team: D1 Minnesota

Location/Event: Spartanburg, South Carolina at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale

Coach:  Richard Pitino and Ben Johnson will either be at his games together or one of them will likely be at every game.

The Chatter:  Jericho comes up number two because two of his family members played at Minnesota including his father playing for the Gophers in the 70s.  His incredible potential is something the Gophers are eager to work with so between the potential, legacy factor, talent, and location he is a big recruit for Minnesota.

Competition:  Some feel Minnesota is a favorite but Jericho is so quiet it’s tough to have a great read.  He has recently been to Kansas State, where another of his brothers played, and Nebraska (for a second unofficial visit).  There are numerous other programs that are following but the other major player is said to be Texas.  Dayton and Iowa State also want to get him on campus soon.

#3

http://www.scout.com/player/200853-theo-john/recruiting?year=2016&s=176

Year: 2017

Team: Howard Pulley

Location/Event: North Augusta, South Carolina at the Peach Jam

Coach:  Richard Pitino and Ben Johnson will either be at his games together or one of them will likely be at every game.

The Chatter:  Theo’s recent visit to Purdue, recent offers from Maryland, Purdue, and Florida, and several other programs that have been in contact have opened this wide up.  Theo is interested if other programs will enter the fray and he wants to see who is after him the hardest.  

Competition:  Minnesota has the home feel, Marquette’s staff has a great relationship with Theo, Florida has the weather of his Caribbean heritage, and he really liked his Purdue visit.  I would say those four schools are teams to watch, but he’s pretty open.

#4

http://www.scout.com/player/203262-isaiah-washington/recruiting?year=201...

Year: 2017

Team: None

Location/Event: Under Armour All American camp

Coach:  Kimani Young will likely be present to see Isaiah as well as Coach Richard Pitino at times.

The Chatter: Isaiah had a great visit to Minnesota and mentioned that a few times.  The Gophers are in a good spot with him but Isaiah has also said he’s wide open and won’t be deciding for some time.

Competition:  It’s really wide open.  Texas A&M was the most recent offer, there have been several that have called on Washington, and at the camp where just about every high major school in the country will be present it will be tough to know exactly who was there to see him specifically until they contact when the first period is over.

#5

http://www.scout.com/player/203860-matthew-hurt/recruiting?year=2018&s=176

Year: 2019

Team: D1 Minnesota

Location/Event: Spartanburg, South Carolina at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale

Coach:  Richard Pitino and Ben Johnson will either be at his games together or one of them will likely be at every game.

The Chatter:  Matthew is a top ten talent in the 2019 class with a wide range of offers already that includes the Gophers, Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, Xavier, and others play Kansas and North Carolina are calling with regular interest.  Matthew is the biggest recruit going forward and the Gophers are following his every move right now.

Competition:  It’s too early to talk about competition although it’s pretty clear, if his brother Michael Hurt has a good experience at Minnesota he will tell that to his brother.  And if the experience is good it’s going to likely take one of the nation’s best programs to grab Matthew. 

#6

http://www.scout.com/player/194805-terrence-lewis/recruiting?year=2016&s...

Year: 2017

Team: Playground Elite

Location/Event: Milwaukee, Wisconsin/Next Level Invitational

Coach:  Assistant Nate Pomeday will likely see Lewis play a day or two before heading to the Carolinas (or after).  

The Chatter:  The position of need for the Gophers is lead guard and big but they like how Lewis fits the system so an offer came.  If more scholarships open up he would fly up this list or if he shows a strong interest and they can land the nationally ranked talent you could see them snatch him up.

Competition:  Lewis has had a host of different teams call over the year and it will be clear who wants him by who is watching him this week.

#7

http://www.scout.com/player/204608-race-thompson/recruiting?year=2017&s=176

Year: 2018

Team: D1 Minnesota 16s

Location/Event: Spartanburg, South Carolina at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale

Coach:  Richard Pitino and Ben Johnson will likely be in the crowd when not watching the D1 Minnesota 17s

The Chatter:  Very early for Race but the Gophers were the first high major to offer the combo forward.  Marquette has since offered as has UNI.  Thompson’s father is Gopher football legend Darrell Thompson.  

Competition:  Too early to know as teams are just starting to learn about Thompson.

#8

http://www.scout.com/player/209019-gabe-kalscheur/recruiting?year=2017&s...

Year: 2018

Team: Howard Pulley

Location/Event: North Augusta, South Carolina at the Peach Jam

Coach:  Richard Pitino and Ben Johnson will either be at his games together or one of them will likely be at every game.

The Chatter:  Gabe is a well coached DeLaSalle kid with a good frame and the type of shot that Minnesota needs in their program as Gabe is good with feet set, good catching and hitting off screens, good at shooting off the bounce.  Third leading Pulley scorer.   

Competition:  Minnesota is the only high major to have offered so far.

#9

http://www.scout.com/player/209020-daniel-oturu/recruiting?year=2017&s=176

Year: 2018

Team: Howard Pulley

Location/Event: North Augusta, South Carolina at the Peach Jam

Coach:  Richard Pitino and Ben Johnson will either be at his games together or one of them will likely be at every game.

The Chatter:  Oturo is growing by the second.  When I first saw him two years ago he was 6-foot-4 but is now 6-foot-8 or 6-foot-9.  He is active, a great fit for the Gopher system, paying up for Pulley and doing well, and had incredible sophomore numbers at Cretin-Derham Hall.  I fully believe he will be the next local Minnesota talent to get a Gopher offer at some point (if he continues to progress like he has).    

Competition:  Only offer is from Northern Iowa but a huge list of high majors have been calling including Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas State, and many others.

#10

http://www.scout.com/player/200296-jordan-mccabe/recruiting?year=2017&s=176

Year: 2018

Team: Wisconsin Playground Warriors

Location/Event: Spartanburg, South Carolina at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale

Coach:  Richard Pitino and Nate Pomeday will be the guys to watch in the crowd when Jordan is playing as well as Ben Johnson as Jordan is teammates with top 70 2018 talent Adam Trapp from Minnesota.

The Chatter:  If the Gophers miss on their PG targets this year by chance, they have also offered McCabe in the 2018 class so they will stay on him as a potential future option especially if 2017s go elsewhere.

Competition:  Mizzou, DePaul, and West Virginia have also offered and several schools are making calls watching Jordan close.

Others

Target: Who is Next?

Team: ?

Location/Event: North Augusta, South Carolina at the Peach Jam or Spartanburg, South Carolina at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale or UAA Under Armour All American CAmmp

Coach:  The staff will be out watching talent when their main targets aren’t playing and this is how they found Eric Curry a year ago.  Expect them to be scouting games hard all weekend a few more offers may come out.  

The Chatter:  Expect Minnesota to find another couple guys they like in 2017 and definitely they will be scouring the 2018s as they have several scholarships to give.  Also, watch for some guys that they have offered that we haven’t heard about to maybe come back to light.  Guys to watch in 2018 are the recently re-classified Sid Wilson, Moses Brown, and Marquis Nowell who they have also offered (also Tre Jones who most expect to go to Duke).  In 2017 it will be interesting to see if they watch Keith Williams, Jamir Harris, Darius Perry, Hasahn French, and a few others who they have offered and watched in the past.


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